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Student quotes in Transcultural Mental Healthcare

Dr Amjad Mahmood

Psychiatrist at Newham Center for Mental Health and Community Mental Health Team East in Newham, London

"I am a psychiatrist working in multicultural area in East London for the last nearly four years. When I heard about this course I was very excited, as I had been looking for a long time to improve my skills and qualifications to address the needs of my clients more solidly. The details of the course were exactly tailored to my needs. Secondly, my backgrounds are south Asian and I have the basic knowledge of different cultures and religions of that part of the world. I was curious to know more about these cultures, religions and their relationship with the mental illnesses in that group of people living in UK.

"I am very pleased to say that I have completed the second module of the course and have found this very helpful to improve my skills in the areas mentioned above. The most exciting part of the course is to learn from the teachers who are the pioneers in the field of Transcultural psychiatry and are involved in the research themselves. I definitely need to quote the names of Prof Kam Bhui, and Prof Bhugra, among others, who taught a few lessons. Learning from the researchers is some thing very exciting and interesting.

"What particularly worked well for me was good teamwork, problem based learning, writing summaries and critical reviews of the research articles, tutorial discussions and free opportunity to get help from the course organizers. Support and encouragement from the course facilitator and lecturer Nasir Warfa was excellent which kept the course mates in close contact and enthusiastic for the contents of the course.

"I must confess that this course has changed my style of working and now I keep looking for things to do some research and have submitted one case report and second is on its way along with my research project. This course has helped a lot so far and I am hoping to get myself more involved in research work in future. Cancellation of a few lectures was disappointing but nothing much one can do for unforeseen circumstances. Also, as I am doing this course part time which is one day a week, this is really long day.

"Finally, I will proudly recommend this course for the people working in multicultural areas in UK, especially to psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, general practitioners and other linked professionals to mental health for the reasons mentioned above. This will also help the professionals to minimize the chances of mis-diagnosis and will help appropriate treatment."

Dr Amjad Mahmood is currently studying for the MSc Transcultural Mental Healthcare programme.

Hilda Wright

Project Manager
Crises Resolution and Home Treatment Team
Hillington Primary Care Trust

"I was surprised to learn that there was a Transcultural Mental Healthcare course addressing the needs of the Black and Minority Ethnic groups. Long overdue especially when Britain is a multi racial society. In addition the area I work covers LHR which is the centre piece of travellers. I believe that if you are working in any profession, you have to give the best you can to your clients and know that you have done all you can to improve the quality of life. Anti-discriminatory practice takes on a different meaning.

"The added bonus is my Trust has paid for it and has given me study day. The course exceeded my expectations. It's exciting to validate your opinions with references. It also challenges your belief systems. Things that worked well for me include having the space to reflect and ask questions without appearing 'stupid'. Environment to share with your peers and challenge beliefs and confront one's own. The academic staff (specifically Nasir) and their input. As the lecturers and PBL classes are run on Wednesdays, it is a long day!

"All in all, the course has opened my eyes to the different facets of culture and the impact this has on one's health and others perception on how they view this. It wasn't a struggle to attend and the motivation was there to do the homework. A few moans though!!! especially when you are working full time. I believe future students need to be aware of the commitment one needs to give to this course and the responsibility you have to your college peers and tutors.

"This course has already helped me with the development of services and the importance of consulting and accessing community and spiritual leaders, BME service users and carers when shaping services. I hope that I will always be able to raise the profile of BME communities and also be an educator to the staff.

"Finally can I thank the college for undertaking to run this course."

Hilda Wright, a Psychiatric Nurse and Service Manager, is also currently studying for the MSc Transcultural Mental Healthcare programme.

Dr Amjad Mahmood
Dr Amjad Mahmood
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